A MUM who was quizzed by police moments before giving birth has been jailed for sending naked images of a child to a paedophile.
Preston Crown Court heard how Susan Smith, of Gorton Street, Blackpool, had taken indecent pictures of a naked three-year-old girl on her phone.
Heavily pregnant Smith – who was due to give birth to her second child – befriended the mother of the tot and was allowed into their family home in April.
But when the mother fell asleep, the 42-year-old took two pictures of the naked child and sent them on to a man she knew in Yorkshire.
The court heard how when questioned Smith claimed to have sent the images to the man “because he liked that kind of stuff”.
Police had swooped to quiz Smith as she lay in the delivery suite at Blackpool Victoria Hospital – just minutes before giving birth.
Chief investigating officer Det Insp Tony Baxter, of Blackpool CID, said he was pleased the verdict sent a tough message out.
He said: “Distributing indecent images is child abuse, plain and simple.
“People taking these images are abusing the children, and people who view them are perpetuating it by creating the demand.
“I hope this case sends out a strong message that anybody with such images will be dealt with robustly.”
Smith admitted two offences of making indecent images of a child and two of distributing them during an earlier hearing.
The court heard how the defendant had been watching TV at the house and had been left alone with the child when the mother fell asleep.
Judge Beverly Lunt accused Smith of “a gross abuse of trust” of the girl’s mother who allowed her to visit her home.
She told her: “The mother had befriended you, felt sorry for you and trusted you.
“You took these photographs for one purpose alone, to send to the man to satisfy his perverted desires.
“It is of grave concern to the court that you as a mother yourself should act in this way.
“You put the interests of a paedophile ahead of the welfare of this child.
“The only possible sentence is one of immediate custody and of some length.”
Smith, who had no previous convictions, claimed the girl had asked her to take a photo.
The man who received the photo had a conviction for exposure and was made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order last year.
The court heard how the offence came to light when a man staying in the same hostel borrowed the defendant’s mobile to send a text message on April 18.
When he was checking to see if the message had gone, he accidentally opened a message and saw an image of a naked child.
Police were informed and on April 18, they spoke to Smith and seized her mobile as she lay waiting to give birth in hospital.
Chris Hudson, defending Smith described her as a “vulnerable” person.
He added: “Although she needs to be punished, she also needs help to ensure there is no repetition.
“She had a very difficult upbringing and was physically and sexually abused herself.
“She accepts full responsibility for these offences. She knows she has done wrong and she is going to receive a custodial term.”
Smith was jailed for two years and will remain on the sex offenders list for 10 years. That includes a condition not to have unsupervised contact with any child under 16.